The voice said to me, "Son of man, eat what I am giving you -- eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to the people of Israel."
So I opened my mouth, and he fed me the scroll.
"Eat it all," he said. And when I ate it, it tasted as sweet as honey.
Then he said, "Son of man, go to the people of Israel with my messages.
I am not sending you to some foreign people whose language you cannot understand.
No, I am not sending you to people with strange and difficult speech. If I did, they would listen!
I am sending you to the people of Israel, but they won't listen to you any more than they listen to me! For the whole lot of them are hard-hearted and stubborn.
But look, I have made you as hard and stubborn as they are.
I have made you as hard as rock! So don't be afraid of them or fear their angry looks, even though they are such rebels."
Then he added, "Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself.
Then go to your people in exile and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says!' Do this whether they listen to you or not."
Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. (May the glory of the LORD be praised in his place!) a13
It was the sound of the wings of the living beings as they brushed against each other and the rumbling of their wheels beneath them.
The Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I went in bitterness and turmoil, but the LORD's hold on me was strong.
Then I came to the colony of Judean exiles in Tel-abib, beside the Kebar River. I sat there among them for seven days, overwhelmed.
At the end of the seven days, the LORD gave me a message. He said,
"Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, pass it on to the people immediately.
If I warn the wicked, saying, 'You are under the penalty of death,' but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible, demanding your blood for theirs.
If you warn them and they keep on sinning and refuse to repent, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved your life because you did what you were told to do.
If good people turn bad and don't listen to my warning, they will die. If you did not warn them of the consequences, then they will die in their sins. Their previous good deeds won't help them, and I will hold you responsible, demanding your blood for theirs.
But if you warn them and they repent, they will live, and you will have saved your own life, too."
Then the LORD took hold of me, and he said to me, "Go out into the valley, and I will talk to you there."
So I got up and went, and there I saw the glory of the LORD, just as I had seen it in my first vision by the Kebar River. And I fell face down in the dust.
Then the Spirit came into me and set me on my feet. He talked to me and said, "Go, shut yourself up in your house.
There you will be bound with ropes so you cannot go out among the people.
And I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so you won't be able to pray for them, for they are rebellious.
But whenever I give you a message, I will loosen your tongue and let you speak. Then you will say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says!' Some of them will listen, but some will ignore you, for they are rebels."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)